We Love the ’90s: Elizabeth & James and Rodarte for Target


Is it just us, or has fashion been doing a bit of a time warp lately? If the recent lookbooks for Rodarte’s collaboration with Target and Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen’s Elizabeth & James line are any indication, fashion is shunning modernity in favor of some ’90s nostalgia. And trust us when we say that the ’90s have never looked so good.

During the past few years, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen have managed to spearhead two lines, the couture label The Row and the “affordable” ready-to-wear Elizabeth & James, and become reputable names in the fashion industry, even earning a spot in the prestigious CFDA last year.

In describing their Spring 2010 looks for Elizabeth and James, they’ve said, “The women’s collection is a modern take on the downtown fashion scene that was 1980s New York City — Mudd Club, grit, and distress meshed with luxe jersey.” The twins were born in 1986.

While certain looks are definitely evocative of the urban ’80s, there is also a distinct ’90s grunge feel. It’s almost as if the collection has a split personality. The use of leather and mesh creates an androgynous aesthetic that’s bizarrely similar to the women of the Robert Palmer music videos. But there’s also floral and polka dot dresses coupled with flannel and plaid for the menswear. Remarkably, there still manages to be a sense of cohesion amongst the looks.

Watch an interview with MK & A discussing their line and check out the entire spring 2010 Elizabeth & James lookbook.

Rodarte is known for creating lush conceptual garments. So when news spread that they were teaming up with Target, we weren’t sure how their clothes would translate to such a mass-market. Judging by their look book, however, it seems that Rodarte did just fine. Relying heavily on lace and sequins, Rodarte’s pieces for Target are young, playful, and insanely ’90s. Lace tights, leopard prints, and big bows: this could’ve all been a little too much. But Rodarte managed to execute a line that was loud yet still wearable for the budget-conscious teen in Ohio.

Have tea with Rodarte and check out their entire collection for Target. The clothes will hit stores December 20.

What do you guys think of the looks? Would you buy or would you rather die?